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Citizenwald's Public Library

about 6 hours ago

"This thought-provoking and at times frustrating volume is really three books rather awkwardly spliced together. The first part, roughly half of “Sherman’s Ghosts,” analyzes Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s destructive marches through Georgia and the Carolinas in the last months of the American Civil War. The next part discusses the supposed impact of Sherman’s actions on subsequent wars through Vietnam. In the final section, the ghosts of Sherman largely disappear as the journalist Matthew Carr leads us through a maze of conflicts from the ouster of Manuel Noriega in Panama to the continuing blood baths in the Middle East and drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The dominant theme here is America’s “appetite for military intervention since World War II,” which “has left a trail of death, destruction and chaos and produced very few positive results.”"

about 6 hours ago

"by Cinnamon Stillwell and Rima Greene
Jihad Watch
March 27, 2015

Steven Salaita
The notion that words such as "civility" and "divisive" have clear definitions is under attack by academic moral relativists who grant themselves the right to twist words to mean whatever aids their quest for power. A recent Stanford University lecture co-sponsored by the Sohaib and Sara Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies and titled "Academic Freedom in the Context of the Israel-Palestine Conflict: A Talk by Steven Salaita," illustrated the point. Salaita—the former Virginia Tech professor and author of Israel's Dead Soul currently suing both the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and unnamed donors after his offer of a tenured professorship in American Indian studies was withdrawn due to his vitriolic, Israel-bashing, anti-Semitic tweets—delivered another in a series of nationwide lectures in which he portrayed himself as a martyr, valiantly battling the forces of "civility."

The mostly professorial crowd of about sixty, including several sporting keffiyehs, crowded around a long table and spilled into the hallway. Regarding Salaita's case, moderator and comparative literature professor David Palumbo-Liu referred conspiratorially to "wealthy donors [who] campaigned to kill the appointment . . . based on distorted and partial readings of his work and pronouncements," including "some remarks [by Salaita that were] highly critical of Israel's attack on Gaza." Far from simply criticizing Israel, however, Salaita tweeted: "I wish all the f***ing West Bank settlers would go missing"; "Zionists: transforming 'anti-Semitism' from something horrible into something honorable since 1948"; and "If Netanyahu appeared on TV with a necklace made from the teeth of Palestinian children, would anybody be surprised?"

Lamenting the "new conditions of outside threats and censorship" now "threatening" the "rights of . . . scholars,"—or, rather, the fact that actions have consequences—Palumbo-Liu displayed academe's moral bankruptcy by introducing Salaita as a "composed, decent, dignified scholar" who has displayed "such class, honesty and courage under unimaginable pressure," and whom he was "proud to call . . . a friend."

Salaita began by praising the Stanford Undergraduate Senate's recently passed, faculty-supported "resolution to divest from the occupation of the Palestinian Territories," before claiming disingenuously, "I don't really want to engage in any fisticuffs over the Israel-Palestinian conflict; that's not the way this event was pitched to me or that I agreed to participate in." He then elaborated:

My main argument is that even if you are adamantly pro-Israel, and even if you are repulsed by my political viewpoints, then you still oughtn't to take the university's side on this matter. The main reason is that it is never a good idea to voluntarily concede power to those above us on the hierarchy.

Salaita claimed this "hierarchy" is spellbound by the "whims of donors" and, worse, "boards of trustees [who] come from the business or legal world." "

about 22 hours ago

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PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - OCTOBER 23: Israeli writer, novelist, and journalist Amos Oz poses for a photograph on October 23, 2013 in Prague, Czech Republic. Oz visited Prague to receive the international literary award The Franz Kafka Prize.

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - OCTOBER 23: Israeli writer, novelist, and journalist Amos Oz poses for a photograph on October 23, 2013 in Prague, Czech Republic. Oz visited Prague to receive the international literary award The Franz Kafka Prize. | © Martin Divisek/isifa/Getty Images

DIE ZEIT: Sie gehören zu der ersten Generation in Israel, die von Kind an Hebräisch spricht. Was ist das für ein Gefühl, als erster Mensch in der Familie eine Sprache zu sprechen?

Amos Oz: Als ich ein Kind war, sprachen alle über Vierzigjährigen um mich herum andere Sprachen. Nur wir Kinder sprachen Hebräisch. Ich dachte, wenn ich erst einmal 40 bin, spreche ich ebenfalls Jiddisch. Als wäre Jiddischsprechen eine Sache, die erst mit dem Alter kommt.

ZEIT: Ihre Eltern waren osteuropäische Intellektuelle, die elf Sprachen beherrschten. In Ihren Romanen beschreiben Sie diese erste Einwandergeneration so, als hätte sie ein dunkles Geheimnis, an das man nicht rühren darf.
Amos Oz

Das Gespräch mit dem 75-jährigen israelischen Autor findet in seinem Arbeitszimmer im zwölften Stock eines modernen Hochhauses am Stadtrand von Tel Aviv statt. Der Blick aus dem Fenster geht über ein beinahe endloses Häuserfeld bis zum Mittelmeer. Amos Oz ist der Grandseigneur unter den israelischen Schriftstellern. In dieser Woche ist er der Stargast auf der Leipziger Buchmesse, wo er sein gerade im Suhrkamp Verlag erscheinendes Buch Judas vorstellt. Aus Anlass des 50. Jahrestages der deutsch-israelischen Beziehungen ist Israel in diesem Jahr das Gastland in den Leipziger Messehallen.

Oz: Mein autobiografischer Roman Eine Geschichte von Liebe und Finsternis ist eine Tragikomödie über die ersten Einwanderer. Sie hofften, ihre Herkunft zu vergessen, aber sie war unauslöschbar, sie steckte in ihren Träumen, in ihren Gefühlen und in ihren Büchern.

ZEIT: Als ich den Roman las, hatte ich das Gefühl, zum ersten Mal wirklich zu verstehen, was es hieß, hier in der Wüste bei null anzufangen.

Oz: Das ist eine Illusion, niemand fängt je bei null an. Menschen können sich verändern, sie wechseln ihre Sprache, ihre Religion und ihre Ideologie. Aber sie werden niemals neu geboren.

ZEIT: Glaubten Sie als junger Mann nicht, dass es möglich sein muss, sich selbst neu zu erfinden?

Oz: Als ich 14 war, rebellierte ich gegen die Welt meines Vaters. Ich änderte meinen Namen. Ich wollte werden, wie er nie gewesen war. Er war ein Gelehrter, ich wollte Traktorfahrer werden. Er war ein Intellektueller, ich wollte Farmer werden. Er war ein Rechtsnationaler, ich wollte Sozialdemokrat werden. Er war ein kleiner Mann, ich wollte ein groß gewachsener Mann werden. Wie Sie sehen, ist mir nichts davon gelungen. Ich bin ein kleiner Mann und sitze hier in meiner Wohnung voller Bücher. Ich tue genau das, was mein Vater von mir wollte.
Dieser Artikel stammt aus der ZEIT Nr. 11 vom 12.03.2015.

Dieser Artikel stammt aus der ZEIT Nr. 11 vom 12.03.2015. | Die aktuelle ZEIT können Sie am Kiosk oder hier erwerben.

ZEIT: Man wird die Eltern in sich nicht los?

Oz: Das geheime Gespräch mit den Toten hört nicht auf. Mein Vater starb vor 45 Jahren, und noch immer streite ich an jedem Tag mit ihm. Wenn die Eltern sterben, bücken wir uns, heben sie auf, stecken sie irgendwo in uns hinein und sind für den Rest unseres Lebens mit ihnen schwanger. Jeder Mensch ist eine Art Matroschka und trägt die Traumata, die Sehnsüchte und die Enttäuschungen der vorangegangenen Generationen mit sich herum.

ZEIT: Ihre Eltern haben versucht, dieser Wiederholungsschlaufe zu entkommen. Sie haben Ihnen keine der elf europäischen Sprachen beigebracht, die sie sprachen.

Oz: Sie dachten, wenn ich auch nur eine europäische Sprache spräche, würde ich vom tödlichen Charme Europas verführt, würde dort hinfahren und würde ermordet. Denn das machen Europäer mit Juden, sie bringen sie um.

ZEIT: Sie wollten Europa vergessen.

Oz: Wie hätten sie es vergessen können! Niemand ist wirklich an dem Tag geboren, der in seinem Ausweis steht. Wir sind lange davor geboren.

ZEIT: Ihre Eltern waren sehr unglücklich.

Oz: Das versteht sich von selbst. Sie wurden aus Europa vertrieben. Zum Glück, denn hätte man sie in den dreißiger Jahren nicht vertrieben, hätte man sie in den vierziger Jahren umgebracht. Sie liebten Europa, aber Europa liebte sie nicht zurück.
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Mar 27, 15

"Grace Revealed
A Memoir

Seventy-five years after Joseph Stalin’s reign of terror across Eastern Europe, author and entertainment journalist Greg Archer takes a step back from Hollywood and examines his Polish family’s mind-bending odyssey of the 1940s. In the process, he exposes one of the most under-reported events of the 20th Century: Joseph Stalin’s mass deportation of nearly two million Polish citizens to the Siberian gulags and the life-and-death events that followed. But the author’s quest takes a dramatic turn. As he walks an emotional tightrope between the past and the present, can a serendipitous overseas adventure become a saving grace, heal the ancestral soul and bring justice to his family and their forgotten Polish comrades?"

Mar 27, 15

"Home of the Brave Brewseum taps into military history
Photo by:
Kerry J. Byrne
READY FOR TAKEOFF: Brittany Tomlinson shows off one of Home of the Brave Brewseum’s sampler ‘flights’ served on miniature propellor.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
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Kerry J. Byrne

HONOLULU — A family of World War II buffs is about to add a unique twist to the American beer scene: the nation’s first military history museum and nanobrewery. “We call it The Brew­seum” said Glen Tomlinson, founder of Home of the Brave Brewing Co.

He currently pours local and national craft brews five nights a week amid 1940s military photos, artifacts and vehicles. Last week we sampled Lemongrass Luau from Hawaii’s Kona Brewing Co. and Tsunami Stout from Oregon’s Pelican Pub & Brewery.

A one-barrel brewing system arrives in May. Tomlinson and his children, Duke, Baron and Brittany, expect to pour their first pint of house-made Pilot Pale Ale in June.

The Tomlinsons have provided guided tours of Oahu’s World War II sites since 1991 (www. homeofthe­, including the USS Arizona Memorial, Wheeler Field and the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, where 35,000 veterans are buried.

Before long, returning veterans and family members of the deceased were leaving behind cherished relics of the war: photos, uniforms, personal letters, even weapons. This collection evolved into an impressive private museum, “like grandpa’s attic on steroids,” Tomlinson said. “Each piece has a story behind it.”

Visitors can sit inside a 1945 Jeep that was used in the 2001 Ben Affleck war film “Pearl Harbor,” don helmets worn by soldiers and Marines in battle, grip the handles of a 50-caliber machine gun, pick up real (and defused!) American and German grenades, and read letters from war heroes, including President George H.W. Bush, who was a 19-year-old Navy pilot in World War II.

“We’re a touchy-feely museum,” said Tomlinson.

He eventually added a 1940s-style tiki bar to provide visitors liquid refreshment. This project evolved into Home of the Brave Brewing Co. and The Brewseum, a pub housed in an adjoining building, with its own collection of memorabilia.

The American brewing scene has never been more dynamic. But the craft-brew taproom is fairly standard. Limited food. Minimalist decor. Full retail-priced beer. Amid this scene, Home of the Brave offers a unique and clever drinking experience.

A model of a U.S. Navy Corsair fighter plane flies on a loop above the communal varnished hardwood tables, forever chasing a Japanese Zero.

Five-beer samples are served in custom-made miniature propellers, cheekily playing off the word “flights” used in pubs to describe small tasting pours; the bar area is called the Can Do Canteen, a tribute to the “Can Do!” motto of the U.S. Navy Seabees; and the “latrine” houses an exhibit of gas masks from various nations. History. And humor.

Tomlinson hopes to test the Brewseum concept here in Hawaii, then bring in investors to help spread the idea to military towns around the country, where a new generation of servicemen and women have grown up with a taste for craft beer.

(Home of the Brave Brewseum, 901 Waimanu St., Honolulu, Hawaii, 808-799-2796,
Kerry J. Byrne
Kerry J. Byrne / Boston Herald

Mar 27, 15


Staff Writer
Monday, March 23, 2015
(Published in print: Tuesday, March 24, 2015)

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AMHERST — One of two candidates for a five-year seat on the Amherst Housing Authority has dropped out of the race, saying that the atmosphere at commission meetings is too contentious.

Despite collecting more than 50 signatures to get her name on the March 31 election ballot and regularly attending housing commission meetings, Emilie Hamilton, of 24 Chestnut Court, said Monday that she no longer wants voters to elect her to the position because of the divisiveness she has observed.

Hamilton said that as a Quaker and member of the Mount Toby Friends Meeting in Leverett, and formerly part of the Amherst Interfaith Service Council, she would like to offer mediation to the commission, but does not have the professional skills to do so.

TracyLee Boutilier, of 30 Gatehouse Road, Unit 303, is the remaining candidate on the ballot to replace incumbent Paul Bobrowski, who opted not to seek re-election.

Boutilier agreed Monday that tension has been evident in recent years at Amherst Housing Authority meetings, which she, like Hamilton, has often attended.

“It’s pretty much directly related to why I’m running and why I’m involved,” Boutilier said.

Boutilier cited as an example some tenants and their supporters believing that the commission was unresponsive when they packed its meetings in 2013 objecting to a proposed reduction in the value of housing vouchers.

“Having someone who can identify for the other side, so to speak, can hopefully ease some of the contentiousness and open up the dialogue,” Boutilier said.

But she said that change will not be easy and that divisions will continue.

Longtime commission member Peter Jessop said he has not had experience with contentiousness at meetings, though tenants and board members occasionally raise concerns that lead to animated debate.

“We do have spirited discussions where there might be competing values on a particular issue,” Jessop said.

Select Board member Connie Kruger, who also serves as a Housing Authority commissioner, said debate and conversation are a regular part of meetings, but that as an elected official it is something she has grown accustomed to. While many votes are unanimous, Kruger said, it can he healthy to have votes that offer a minority viewpoint.

Laura Quinn, a member of both the Amherst Housing Authority and Town Meeting, said she does not believe the commissioners vote as one.

Quinn added that she will stand by her principles even if it means disagreeing with her fellow board members. “As a commissioner, I feel no obligation to vote unanimously as a commission,” Quinn said.

Hamilton, the chairwoman of the Chestnut Court Tenants Association, said she returned to Amherst after spending most of the past 20 years living in Leverett and Florence.

When previously involved in Amherst public affairs in 1997, Hamilton said the factions were not as divided and that debates on topics were more civil.

Because it is too late to have her name taken off ballot, Hamilton said, she would likely resign if she gets more votes than Boutilier.

Despite her concerns, Hamilton said she will continue to represent the Chestnut Court Tenants Association at commission meetings, so she can advocate on behalf of housing issues for low- and moderate-income residents.

And Hamilton said she remains a candidate for Town Meeting representative from Precinct 9."

Mar 26, 15

"Further genetic analysis of Britain's King Richard III, whose body was uncovered underneath a Leicester parking lot in 2012, has uncovered a second instance of false paternity, the Guardian reports. It adds that this revelation could call the legitimacy of the entire House of Plantagenet line into question.

Previous analysis of Richard III's genome, published in Nature Communications in December by Leicester University's Turi King and her colleagues, found that his mitochondrial genome matched that of a living relative. However, his Y chromosome did not match those of five modern descendants of Henry Somerset, who was descended from Edward III, Richard III's great-great-grandfather. This, the researchers said, could indicate a false paternity event in the intervening generations.

King and her colleagues announced at the Science Museum in London yesterday that there was likely another break in the male line, according to the Guardian. They compared Richard III's DNA to that of a living, male-line descendent of Geoffrey, Count of Anjou, who was an ancestor of Edward III.

The Y chromosome from this modern relative of Geoffrey, Count of Anjou, didn't match either the descendants of Henry Somerset or Richard III.

"[S]omewhere along the line there's been another false paternity event," King tells the Guardian. "It's opened up the mystery even further."

The false paternity rate for any given generation is about 1 percent to 2 percent, and King tells LiveScience that its occurrence isn't surprising.

The break, the Guardian says, likely occurred somewhere in the 22 generations that separated Geoffrey, Count of Anjou, from his living descendent. But if it didn't, the paper adds, "the consequences for the monarchy's history become far more intriguing."

"If that turned out to be the case, and this is pure speculation, then there must have been a break between the Count of Anjou and Richard III," says Kevin Schürer, a genealogist at Leicester. "Which means that before we raise questions about the legitimacy of the Yorkist kings and the Lancastrian kings, there are questions higher up the line, raising doubts about nearly all of the Plantagenets."

King adds that these findings have no impact on the modern monarchy.

Richard III was re-interred today in Leicester."

Mar 26, 15

"By Leslie M. Harris

Demands to rename Tillman Hall at Clemson University, the circulation of a video showing a racist chant at the University of Oklahoma, and the discovery of a fraternity pledge book discussing lynching at North Carolina State University demonstrate how persistent racial issues are on college campuses.

Benjamin Tillman was a post-Civil War politician, racial demagogue, and participant in racial violence who was critical to Clemson University’s founding in the late-nineteenth century.

Tillman was not the only one. The University of North Carolina trustees are considering a request this week to rename Saunders Hall. The building was named in 1922 for William Saunders, a leader of the North Carolina Ku Klux Klan.

Buildings named after participants in racial violence and songs celebrating the segregation, as well as the lynching, of black people are not merely offensive. They recall the violence used to maintain all-white institutions for much of this country’s history.

In fact, colleges and universities historically have supported hierarchies of race and other forms of difference from their founding in the colonial era through the civil rights struggles of the late-twentieth century.

As a co-founder and director of the Transforming Community Project, I used the history of race at Emory University to help members of the university community understand the meaning of equity for the institution today.

In 2011, I co-organized “Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies,” the first conference on the history of slavery and racial discrimination at institutions of higher education. Scholars and administrators from across the United States shared the troubled past of slavery and segregation of a majority of colleges and universities.
American universities were connected to slave trade

Today, many see the goals of higher education institutions as providing access to all who seek upward economic, political, and social mobility, regardless of race, class, gender, and religion. But it was not always so.

Colleges and universities built curricula and performed research that supported the enslavement of Africans. Money from the African slave trade and slavery financed institutions of higher education.

Many college campuses used or owned enslaved blacks, who erected and maintained the buildings and grounds, and served the faculty, students, and administrators. At many schools, students, faculty, and administrators brought their slaves with them to campus.

One might imagine that this was true only in the South. But the most prestigious educational institutions in the North—Harvard, Princeton, Brown, and others—were intimately connected to the slave trade and slavery.

Most students, who came to these schools from all over the United States, were supporters of slavery, and some were wealthy slave owners themselves.
Scholars believed in racial inferiority

University scholars of the time argued that the racial inferiority of people of African descent justified their enslavement, and that enslavement would bring blacks closer to Christian salvation.

Faculty and students also argued for the centrality of slavery to the nation’s economic success. Coursework in history, religion, and other subjects supported the moral and political correctness of slavery.

The influence of college graduates reached beyond North America into slave-holding societies in the Caribbean and South America. Graduates took up positions among the slave-holding elite as plantation owners and politicians. Others became ministers or educators who upheld slavery through preaching and teaching.

Those who spoke against slavery on college campuses were few, and faculty spoke out against slavery at the threat of losing their jobs. In the United States before the Civil War, only anti-slavery colleges such as Oberlin College in Ohio were consistent in their opposition to slavery and racism.

Following the Civil War, historically white colleges, North and South, diverged only slightly in their willingness to admit non-white students. These schools also limited or prevented the enrollment of other groups, such as non-Protestant Christians or Jews.
Quota systems were used by universities in the north

In the south, legal segregation prevented black students from attending colleges and universities. In northern schools, quota systems limited the number of blacks who could attend.

In both North and South, schools limited the enrollment of non-Protestant Christians, such as Catholics, and Jews, among other groups. These practices reinforced racial and religious hierarchies until the late-twentieth century."

Mar 26, 15

"by Ron Capshaw March 26, 2015 4:00 AM
He has traveled from being a fair leftist to being a judgmental one.

Rick Perlstein made his reputation with his first book, Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (2009), detailing the rise of the Goldwater Right. In it, he made shreds of pundits who saw the Republican candidate’s stunning loss to President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 as proof of a permanent liberal consensus. Such was Perlstein’s fairness, evidenced by sympathetic portraits of conservatives and attacks on smug liberals, that he drew kudos from such neocons as William Kristol.

But something happened to Perlstein on his way to his next books. He became shrill and judgmental, and unable to find anything of value in his opponents. Moreover, he followed a shameful tradition of both the far Left and the far Right: When challenged, attempt to dodge the issue; edit out any challenging information; and argue that your opponents are worse.

These tendencies are on display in Perlstein’s latest article in The Nation. Readers are cued to the venom about to be sprayed by the original title (now changed), “Turncoats We Have Known.” In it, he unloads on those who made the journey from Left to Right, specifically Whittaker Chambers, David Horowitz, and Ron Radosh. Following in a Nation tradition, he refuses to entertain the idea that this journey was thoughtful; indeed, the very fact that there was a journey at all is condemnation enough. He eschews complexity and argues that these figures merely brought their revolutionary hatreds and prejudices and fantasies with them and became in the process the mirror image of their previous selves: Manicheans who still hate liberals."

Mar 26, 15

" Apps

App Training
Beyond Highlighting: How to Get the Most From Your Annotations
by Rahul Saigal18 Mar 201415 Comments


Real intellectual exchange begins when we react to what we read. The writer’s words touch our minds, sparking new ideas and questions in our minds that we'll want to come back to. But then, if you keep reading, you'll quickly forget the passage that stuck out so much the first time you read it. That's why highlights and annotations are important: they help you remember the info that stood out to you and make a trail through your book that helps you quickly rediscover the info you loved when you re-read a book or document.

In a paper book, you can underline or highlight passages, making them pop out at you the next time you read that page. Or, you can bookmark a page to easily find it again. Either way, it's rather difficult to actually get that much out of your highlights. With eBooks, though, that doesn't have to be the case at all. Your digital highlights should be far more useful than just a yellow line on your screen.

Most eBook reader apps don't make it that simple to do more with your highlights and bookmarks, so in this tutorial, I'll show you how to use the best apps for your Mac, iPad, iPhone, PC, and Android devices to get the most out of your eBook annotations.
Annotate Anywhere

Choosing a right kind of software is always a matter of your personal preference and workflow, but there's always certain specific features you need to look for when picking an app for a task. For annotation, you'll need an app that can let you:

View the book or document you wish to read.
Quickly highlight text in a color of your choice.
Apply labels or text to selections or highlights.
Add text and graphical annotations.
Batch search through text and annotations.
Export annotations.

There's a number of great apps that are designed specifically to help you get the most out of annotations, but the first point in this list is the most important: the app you use must be able to open the book you're reading. If you have a DRM free ePub or PDF eBook or document, you can make use of these better apps that we'll look at below. Otherwise, if you've purchased an eBook from the Kindle or iBooks stores, you'll need to read the books in those specific apps and use their more limited annotation tools."

Mar 26, 15

"In 1914, as Europe stumbled into war, American writers H.L. Mencken, Willard Huntington Wright and George John Nathan went out in the great cities of the continent. The result, Europe After 8:15, is a fun, rambling travelogue that sparkles with Mencken’s ferocious generalizations. Mencken was never one to cushion his subject with a mutter of “complexity” and “differing viewpoints,” and the authors classify London, Paris, Berlin, Munich and Vienna with the scientific ease of a lepidopterist affixing labels to pin-mounted butterflies.
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In the book, a rube from Iowa visiting the Austrian imperial capital “dreamed of Vienna as one continual debauch, one never-ceasing saturnalia, an eternal tournament of perfumed hilarities.” Instead, he finds “nocturnal solitude of the streets … actual desolation about him.” And he wonders: “Is Vienna’s reputation bogus, a snare for tourists, a delusion for the unsophisticated?”

The writers must correct their main character, explaining that the fun is there, but it resides in a gated local underworld: “Pleasure in Vienna is not elaborate and external … and so the slumming traveller, lusting for obscure and fascinating debaucheries, finds little in Vienna to attract him.”

The style of such proclamations may be old-fashioned (“show, don’t tell, etc.), but it still falls to the poets, rather than the statisticians, to sketch a city’s image. So it is that “Sex in the City” offers a vision of mid-aughts Manhattan that can’t be conjured from survey data. In brief, a city’s image is more art than science.

That’s not how statisticians see it, of course."

Mar 26, 15

"A summated rating scale for measuring city image

Shaked Gilboaa, , ,
Eugene D. Jaffea, ,
Donata Vianellib, ,
Alberto Pastorec, ,
Ram Hersteind,

Show more


A new scale was developed for measuring city image among residents and tourist populations.

The scale was validated using Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analyses.

The scale development took place in three different cities: Rome, Trieste and Jerusalem.

The findings show that there is a need for different scale for the various stakeholders of the city.


The literature about cities’ marketing is replete with articles on the subject of city branding. Included in this literature are articles dealing with the subject of measuring city image, which is a precursor to the development of a city brand. However, many of the image studies lack validity or generalization. This paper presents a methodology for measuring city image, grounded on the development of a scale for this purpose. Based on convergent and discriminant reliability and validity analyses, factors were identified that comprise a city’s image among residents and tourists in three cities: Jerusalem, Rome and Trieste. Four factors identified by residents are Municipal Facilities, Leisure, Security and Public Services. Among tourists five factors were identified: Caring, Tourism and Recreation, Security, Public Services and Leisure and Entertainment. Three corresponding factors were identified in both tourists’ and residents’ replies. The scale validation process indicated that residents and tourists have similarities and differences in their perception of a city. As such, the current finding suggests that the scales developed in this paper may be used when surveying both groups.

City image;
Rating scales;
Scale development;

Mar 26, 15

reevaluation of the one famous piece of archaeological evidence reveals that, contrary to popular opinion and previous reconstruction (based on erroneous analysis of the bone), victim's legs were placed on either side of the upright and each secured with a nail, while hands were tied, not nailed to cross.
Also (this based on literary rather than archaeological evidence): because of scarcity of wood, victims carried only the crosspiece to the scene, where the vertical remained and was steadily reused. (NB I had always wondered how an average person could have carried the whole thing anyway--seems far too heavy)

Mar 26, 15

on the complex arrangement that helped to save Detroit from bankruptcy--along with general discussion of museum practice: how a traditional institution opens itself to and engages residents of all types in a changing city ("visitor center" approach vs. narrowly art-curatorial one)

Mar 26, 15

"Our society, and especially the left, tends to reflexively celebrate dissenters. But some heretics are more welcome than others. In the case of Islam, the pieties of multiculturalism clash with what should be an imperative of feminism (i.e., forcefully standing up for the basic rights of women in Muslim societies), and feminism tends to lose out.

“The concern,” as one feminist wrote of Hirsi Ali, “is that her intervention into the issue of gender equality in Muslim societies will strengthen racism rather than weaken sexism.” In the fashionable neologism designed to be an all-purpose conversation-stopper, she is “an Islamophobe.” Brandeis University notoriously rescinded a planned honorary degree for her last year, and the Muslim Students Association at the school huffed, “she incites and supports insensitivity and irresponsibility.”

If Hirsi Ali had had a strict Baptist upbringing somewhere in the southern United States and left to tell the story of its hypocrisies and closed-mindedness, she would be welcomed and celebrated in such precincts as Brandeis, without anyone uttering a peep of protest.

This is the “Book of Mormon” effect — no one cares about offending the inoffensive. It’s only debate over a religion that is home to dangerous fanatics ripping apart the Middle East and threatening the West that must be carefully policed.

Even people not otherwise known for their solicitude for religious sensibilities are uncomfortable with her criticisms of Islam. In his interview with her this week, “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart worried that “people single out Islam,” when Christianity underwent its own difficult reconciliation with modernity. True enough, but the Thirty Years’ War — the horrific intra-Christian bloodletting that issued in the rough sectarian truce of The Peace of Westphalia — was 400 years ago.

If Islam is on the same trajectory, it is badly trailing the pace. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is unsparing in her prescription. As she writes in a Wall Street Journal excerpt from her new book, “the fundamental problem is that the majority of otherwise peaceful and law-abiding Muslims are unwilling to acknowledge, much less to repudiate, the theological warrant for intolerance and violence embedded in their own religious texts.”

Hirsi Ali’s specific views are hardly unassailable, and they are changing. In one of her earlier books, she pronounced Islam beyond reform and urged moderate Muslims to become Christians. She has backed off that. Still, her notion of religious reform bears an atheistic stamp. If change in Islam depends on getting Muslims to admit that Muhammad was not The Prophet, as she writes in “Heretic,” the cause is indeed hopeless. The umma is not going to dissolve itself into a gooey Unitarian Universalism."

Mar 25, 15

"In epic rant, Weekly Standard editor Lee Smith points out all that would’ve happened ‘if it weren’t for Bibi’
Posted at 4:58 pm on March 22, 2015 by Twitchy Staff | View Comments"

Mar 25, 15

"Ten years after sprouting from an ancient seed, the date palm is "a big boy now," a scientist says—"and yeah, he can make dates."
By John Roach, National Geographic

PUBLISHED March 24, 2015
Picture of a Methuselah date palm

A photograph of the date palm called Methuselah taken in 2008 shows the plant, which sprouted from a 2,000-year-old seed, when it was about three years old. It's now about ten years old and ten feet (three meters) tall.

Photograph by ARAVA Institute, EPA

A male date palm tree named Methuselah that sprouted from a 2,000-year-old seed nearly a decade ago is thriving today, according to the Israeli researcher who is cultivating the historic plant.

The plant was sprouted in a laboratory in 2005, and when a National Geographic news story about the event resurfaced this week on the social media website Reddit, we decided to check in on Methuselah and see how it's doing. (See our 2005 story: “2,000-Year-Old Seed Sprouts, Sapling Is Thriving.”)

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"He is a big boy now," says Elaine Solowey, the director of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies at Kibbutz Ketura in Israel.

"He is over three meters [ten feet] tall, he's got a few offshoots, he has flowers, and his pollen is good," she says. "We pollinated a female with his pollen, a wild [modern] female, and yeah, he can make dates."

In 2005, Solowey, an expert in desert agriculture, germinated the ancient seed, which was recovered decades earlier from an archaeological excavation at Masada, a historic mountainside fortress. The seed had spent years in a researcher's drawer in Tel Aviv.

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In the years since Methuselah first sprouted, Solowey has successfully germinated a handful of other date palms from ancient seeds recovered at archaeological sites around the Dead Sea. "I'm trying to figure out how to plant an ancient date grove," she says.

To do that, she'll need to grow a female plant from an ancient seed as a mate for Methuselah. So far, at least two of the other ancient seeds that have sprouted are female.

If Solowey succeeds, she notes, "we would know what kind of dates they ate in those days and what they were like. That would be very exciting."

In 2012, scientists in Russia were able to grow a plant from 32,000-year-old seeds that had been buried by an Ice Age squirrel in Siberia. (See "32,000-Year-Old Plant Brought Back to Life—Oldest Yet.")

Genetic tests indicate that Methuselah is most closely related to an ancient variety of date palm from Egypt known as Hayany, which fits with a legend that says dates came to Israel with the children of the Exodus, Solowey says.

"It is pretty clear that Methuselah is a western date from North Africa rather than from Iraq, Iran, Babylon," she explains. "You can't confirm a legend, of course."

In addition to Solowey's hopes of establishing an orchard of ancient dates, she and colleagues are interested in studying the plants to see if they have any unique medicinal properties.

The other date palms sprouted from ancient seeds look similar to Methuselah; distinguishing characteristics, Solowey says, include a sharp angle between the fronds and spine.

"A lot of people have kind of forgotten about Methuselah," Solowey says. "He is actually a really pretty tree.""

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